So what you may not know about me is that while in my blog posts and on stage I seem like one of the most positive people you’ve ever heard from… the truth is that in a lot of ways I tend to be the antithesis to some of my writings. I am by nature a somewhat negative person. Driven to the core, I tend to find what is wrong and harp on it way more than I ever see what is right and what is going well. I have used that to propel myself forward toward insanity for a very long time with the constant thought… that I’m not negative, I’m just a perfectionist. Just recently my son has brought to my attention some of the new songs by one of the manics of music Eminem.. in which he raps… “I’m friends with the monsters under my bed, get along with the voices inside of my head, you think you can change me, stop holding your breath… you think I’m crazy… but that’s not fair.” To be honest… it scared me how honest and truthful Eminem was being in this song. Not to mention that many of his other new songs speak to the insanity of trying to keep up and keep being relevant… rapping, “I’m a slave to the very thing that’s killing me”. Upon first listen I felt sorry for him… but then it occurred to me… THAT GUY IS ME! Oh NO… that guy is me. Wait… that guy is the American Dream. That guy is 95% of the people in my life who are constantly trying to get ahead. That guy is all of us. The song is a HIT… and why shouldn’t it be… we all relate to it. But Status Quo is not something I’m cool with…. so I thought I’d share 5 simple things that i try to do on a daily basis to keep myself from becoming friends with the monsters inside of my head.
1) GO TO BED ON TIME
How can you ever expect to get up the next day with a patient, gentle spirit if you stayed up till 2am staring endlessly at Facebook walls?? Come on guys you should know this one… you can’t be effective if you’re constantly exhausted. Self control is a must on this one. (BTW… this coming from a night owl… I used to work until 2am every night chasing the voices inside of my head and I was a horrible help to my wife and kids…. my wife challenged and I have effectively moved that back to 11:30pm every night…. which still leaves a way to go, but you wouldn’t believe how much better I feel in the morning. You also wouldn’t believe how much more I can get done during the day than the night)
2) Get UP EARLY
How many mornings have you woke up late and had to run through the shower… scream at someone to help you find your keys and then dash out the door just to leave your family in a wake of chaos and destruction for the rest of the day. Again you get to set the day up how you’d like… so get up early… get some coffee…. get a few moments of perspective and prayer and be ready to say “I love you” first not…. ”OH MY GOSH WHY DID YOU LET ME SLEEP THIS LATE??
(Editors note…. my wife is the bomb at this one… thanks babe for teaching me to get up!)
3) List what you are Grateful for ON PAPER.
I have been given a lot… A TON… MORE THAN I SHOULD HAVE… but it’s only “not enough” when I start measuring what I have against what others have. So I try to start my day with this thought…. What am I grateful for?? Answer (My beautiful wife, my amazing kids, my church family, my friends in B429, my family)
4) Pray for someone else and keep a list on PAPER
I know people all around me who I am in the act of intercession for their needs. Why not actually pray for them and their needs??? Because I don’t have enough??? That’s lame….. it’s easy to be thankful and gracious when you are consistently in a state of prayer for those around us who are actually in need.
5) Start the morning with a cheerful “I LOVE YOU” and a hug!
Amazing how your first words to the ones you love literally set up how their day and your day will go. We get a choice here. Start with a simple “I love you” and a hug watch how the day changes. Seriously… try it and see how your day goes. Your loved ones will find a different frame of mind when they are operating from a place of acknowledged LOVE.
Ok so they are simple things, but these things help me to calm the monsters under my bed so that I can be more invested in the people that I love than the jobs that I could literally chase 24 hours a day straight into a STRAIGHT JACKET if I chose to.
Can’t wait to hear some of your thoughts on this as I’m still learning. Bring the suggestions my way!!!